Confirmed Playing 11
Amy Ellen Jones (WK), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield, Heather Knight (C), Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Laura Marsh, Danielle Wyatt, Wilson, Kathryn Cross.
Sri Lanka Women
Harshitha Madavi, Hasini Perera, Anushka Sanjeewani, Prasadani Weerakkody (WK), Chamari Athapaththu (C), Shashikala Siriwardana, Kavisha Dilhari, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Achini Kulasuriya, Udheshika Prabodani
Sportskeeda’s Dream 11
Sri Lanka Women vs England Women, 16th March, 2019, 09:50 am IST
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium (MRIC), better known as Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium, with a capacity of around 35000, is Sri Lanka’s second largest stadium.
The MRIC hosted its first ODI in 2011, but the remote location of the stadium has meant that it has hosted just 20 ODIs and 7 T20Is till date. The surface is generally good for batting with the average first innings score at the venue being 245 in the 50-over format.
The team chasing has won 10 times while the team batting first has won 7 times.
Unlike the traditional Sri Lankan surfaces, the MRIC offers good assistance to the pace bowlers in comparison to the spinners.
Despite losing 2-1 to hosts India in their previous ODI series, England Women will start as outright favourites in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka Women which begins at the MRIC on Saturday, March 16.
The hosts head into the series on the back of a forgettable tour of South Africa where they were whitewashed by the Proteas in both the ODI and T20 formats.
The return of Laura Marsh to the England team is an added advantage and despite the absence of the injured Sophie Ecclestone, it is Heather Knight’s side who has the upper hand as the head to head record between the two sides indicate.
They have hit the ground running already winning the warm-up fixture by a convincing 153-run margin and it will be surprising if the visitors do not exhibit such dominance throughout the tour.
Head to Head
Total Matches – 14
England Women – 12 (85.7%)
Sri Lanka Women – 1 (7.15%)
No Result – 1 (7.15%)
Form (Most recent to oldest)
England Women – WLLLW
Sri Lanka Women – LLLWL
Amy Jones had a splendid day out in the warm-up fixture with the bat, scoring a half century. She also added three catches and a stumping with the gloves in hand to start the tour off on a bright note.
Opening the innings for England, the 25-year-old has a good chance to push on from the good start and shine in the 3-match ODI series.
With an average of above 40 in ODI cricket, Tammy Beaumont is one of England’s finest players and easily finds a spot in the side. Danielle Wyatt is another player from the visiting side to bank on, as she has been in good touch of late.
From Sri Lanka, 20-year-old Harshitha Madavi, who scored a half-century in the warm-up fixture, is a good choice as she has started to deliver on her promise and looks set to be a consistent fixture in the side for the future.
Hasini Perera is another player who can deliver the goods for the host.
Many big shots here but with the choice restricted to a maximum of three players, it is the England star trio that make it to my side.
Heather Knight, who destroyed the hosts, with a 58-ball 67 and four wickets with the ball, is a must-have in the side. Joining the skipper are the duo of Natalie Sciver and Georgia Elwiss whose all-round abilities are a boon to any side.
Two Sri Lankan players feature amongst the bowlers led by Inoka Ranaweera, whose wicket-taking abilities make her an attractive pick.
Joining her are the veteran Oshadi Ranasinghe who will be hoping to use her experience to good effect against a strong England side.
For England, the toss up was between Anya Shrubsole and Laura Marsh, and I have opted for the former as she has been a constant presence in the England side while Laura is just making her way back from injury.
Captain: Heather Knight
Vice Captain: Natalie Sciver
Player to watch out for: Heather Knight
Heather Knight had a below-par tour of India and the 28-year-old will be keen to make amends in Sri Lanka. She got off to the best possible start, picking up four wickets off just three overs, which came after she had done damage with the bat, scoring an aggressive half-century.
Her match-winning display would surely have boosted her confidence and it just seems that Sri Lanka’s task has gotten all the more tough.